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The Middle Placeby Kelly Corrigan
Synopses & Reviews
"The thing you need to know about me is that I am George Corrigan's daughter, his only daughter." So begins this beautifully written memoir, in which Kelly Corrigan intertwines her own story with that of her larger-than-life, Irish-American, born-salesman father's, and illustrates both an unbelievably powerful and healing father/daughter relationship and the unbreakable bonds of family. Writing with candor and a surprising amount of graceful humor, Kelly alternates the tale of growing up Corrigan with her life and her father's today, as they each — successfully, for now — battle cancer.
Throughout, she explores the framework of illness and what it means when the one person who has been your source of strength is in need of some himself. Uplifting without shying away from the realities of life with cancer, this highly personal story ultimately examines the universal theme of family, both those we create and those that created us. The Middle Place is about the bittersweet moment between childhood and adulthood — when you're a devoted wife and mother, but you'll always be daddy's girl.
In fresh, insightful prose, Kelly explores and ultimately embraces that "middle place," bringing to light the wonderful opportunity of coming to know who you are and where you truly belong.
"Newspaper columnist Corrigan was a happily married mother of two young daughters when she discovered a cancerous lump in her breast. She was still undergoing treatment when she learned that her beloved father, who'd already survived prostate cancer, now had bladder cancer. Corrigan's story could have been unbearably depressing had she not made it clear from the start that she came from sturdy stock. Growing up, she loved hearing her father boom out his morning 'HELLO WORLD' dialogue with the universe, so his kids would feel like the world wasn't just a 'safe place' but was 'even rooting for you.' As Corrigan reports on her cancer treatment — the chemo, the surgery, the radiation — she weaves in the story of how it felt growing up in a big, suburban Philadelphia family with her larger-than-life father and her steady-loving mother and brothers. She tells how she met her husband, how she gave birth to her daughters. All these stories lead up to where she is now, in that 'middle place,' being someone's child, but also having children of her own. Those learning to accept their own adulthood might find strength — and humor — in Corrigan's feisty memoir." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A cancer survivor's memoir with a welcome twist: a laughter-filled celebration of family....Warm, funny and a touch bittersweet." Kirkus Reviews
"Those learning to accept their own adulthood might find strength — and humor — in Corrigan's feisty memoir." School Library Journal
"Kelly Corrigan's utterly absorbing memoir, The Middle Place, is wry, smart, and often heart-wrenching. Corrigan takes us down memory lane and then, at the same time, down some other, darker road most of us hope never to travel. Yet we follow her all the way, quite willingly, thanks to her sharp eye and her great sense of humor." Cynthia Kaplan, author of Why I'm Like This and Leave the Building Quickly
"Kelly Corrigan takes what might have been a fairly standard story of survival, and reframes it, most charmingly, as a coming-of-age narrative. We see here a headstrong girl, under the most severe adversity, turn into a genuinely strong woman." Carolyn See, author of Making a Literary Life
"An amazing story told with steep honesty, buckets of humor and, above all, integrity. The Middle Place is memoir at its highest form." Darin Strauss, author of The Real McCoy and Chang and Eng
Corrigan's beautifully written memoir intertwines her own story with that of her larger-than-life, Irish-American, born-salesman fathers, and illustrates both an unbelievably powerful and healing father/daughter relationship and the unbreakable bonds of family.
For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place--"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"--comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast--and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her--and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up.
As inspiring as The Last Lecture, an unforgettable memoir that reminds us all to live each day with adventure and joy
For Kate Greene, nothing was as important as her two little boys, Reef and Finn, and her loving husband, St. John, known as andldquo;Singe.andrdquo; Together, they shared a wonderfully happy family lifeandmdash;until Kate was diagnosed with incurable breast cancer. During her final days, Kate created what she called Mumandrsquo;s List. She included simple things like andldquo;look for four-leaf cloversandrdquo; and andldquo;take them for walks along mummyandrsquo;s favorite beach.andrdquo; The list became Singeandrsquo;s rock.
Momandrsquo;s List is the book that Singe never wanted to write, butandmdash;in sharing the wisdom and inspiration that buoyed him during his darkest hoursandmdash;he pays tribute to his beloved wife and the life she dreamed of for their sons after she was gone.
About the Author
Kelly Corrigan is, more than anything else, the mother of two young girls. While they're at school, Kelly writes a newspaper column and the occasional magazine article and possible chapters of a novel. She is also the creator of CircusOfCancer.org, a website to teach people how to help a friend through breast cancer. Kelly lives outside San Francisco with her husband, Edward Lichty.
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